Ashley Tudor: Sweet Potato Power – #30

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Ashley Tudor is a Design Strategist with the Spruce Street Institute where she works to create innovations in healthcare for doctors, patients and kids. She has worked with a wide range of Fortune 500 companies on a variety of projects including envisioning the future of cars, finding new ways for people to invest their money, designing ways to help food companies fight obesity, and coming up with new medical devices for primary care physicians. Ashley was named one of San Francisco’s Top Innovators in Health in 2010.

Aside from her business exploits, Ashley is the author of Sweet Potato Power, a book aimed at promoting what she believes to be one of the healthiest and most high performance foods you can eat.  Ashley comes on Bulletproof Executive Radio to talk about how you can use the power of sweet potatoes to look, feel, and perform better.

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What We Cover

  1. How did you get interested in health, especially sweet potatoes?
  2. What cultures around the world eat a lot of sweet potatoes and how healthy are they?
  3. Chapter 3 of your book is called “Calories Are Not Created Equal.”  Why not?
  4. A lot of people seem to be terrified of carbs; are all carbs created equal?
  5. Why are the carbs from sweet potatoes less fattening than those from soda?
  6. What is it about sweet potatoes that make them so special?
  7. How can you use hormones to increase your performance and be healthier?
  8. How does too much cortisol hurt your body, and what should you do about it?
  9. How does what we eat affect our gut health?
  10. If you’re going to eat sweet potatoes, should you do as much exercise as humanly possible to “burn it off.”
  11. What tests should people take to monitor their response to carbs?
  12. What happens to people’s cholesterol levels when they eat more carbs?  How should they address any changes?
  13. Won’t sweet potatoes throw you out of ketosis?
  14. What are your top three recommendations for someone who wants to be as powerful and high performance in all aspects of life?
  15. Where can people learn more about you and your work?

Links From The Show


Sweet Potato Power: Smart Carbs; Paleo and Personalized by Ashley Tudor


Twitter – @ashleytudor


Food & Supplements

Upgraded Aging

Upgraded XCT Oil

Kerry Gold Grass-Fed Butter


Sweet Potato Power: Smart Carbs; Paleo and Personalized by Ashley Tudor

Biohacker Report

A review of the latest research to help you achieve the Bulletproof state of high performance.

“Thinking on your back: solving anagrams faster when supine than when standing.”

“Dietary Cholesterol and Skeletal Muscle Hypertrophy with Resistance Training: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial.”


The most advanced anti-aging formula to date, Upgraded Aging, is now available.  Click here to learn more.

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By Dave Asprey

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  • Rouzier

    Great episode. On getting more Cholesterol in your diet. I was thinking of making bake eggs muffins as a quick and snack ready for me to eat.
    Any thoughts on what would baking eggs do to the nutritional value of the egg.

    • Dave Asprey

      Keep the yolks runny! 😉

      • Sean

        it would be awesome to see a post about oxidized cholesterol or other reasons to not denature egg yolk. Lots of conflicting claims, and none scientific from what I can find, on this topic.
        Mostly I see claims like, “very little yolk cholesterol is oxidized… it’s powdered egg yolk that’s all oxidized… if you scramble eggs, just keep them runny.”

        • Daniel

          Great Podcast, what are your thoughts on eating the skin of sweet potatoes?

        • Zonk

          I am wondering about sweet potato skins myself

  • Nice to have you guys back with the podcast. It’s also quite refreshing to hear a female voice in the wide world of male dominated health podcasts.. 🙂

  • Josh

    Are the benefits greater taking TA-65 versus the traditional Chinese formula Dang-Gui Buxue Tang (DBT)?

  • Hey Dave,

    Great episode!, lots of very applicable info for physicians and patients alike.

    • leogodin217

      Love seeing my doctor ont he bulletproof forums.

  • Mia

    Thanks a lot! Very interesting! I just got the book:) Nice recipes!
    I would love to hear an interview with Daniel Vitalis, who I think in some ways thinks along some of the same ways as you guys? 🙂 Rewilding ourselves… 🙂

    P.S. When is the best time to take fish and krill oil? In the morning with the coffee? Thanks again!

    • Jess

      Agreed! Danial Vitalis would be my faverite guest to see on your show.

  • Sean

    I appreciate your description of learning to access the “happy switch” @63 in the podcast. It’s true — in practice. But I think, practically it only goes so far. The origin of this social-stress is, I think, much closer to the psyche- side of the psycho-physiological existence.
    The stimulus for social-stress is originally, in one’s early development, received MENTALLY from other people. Those stimuli are conditioned physically, through decades, but their origin remains in the mind, to be “cured” not by physical healing or control but by mental healing and/or awareness, empathy, compassion, etc..
    The boundary between mind and body is very blurry here, but through this lens, we can see great mountains to climb — otherwise invisible heights unreachable to all who ignore the psychological origins of an unproductive or seemingly irrational fear response.

    • Mia

      Wisely said. Susan Harts work neuroaffective development and attachment illustrates this beautifully. Or Ana Forrest’s wise book “Fierce Medicine” 🙂

  • NewArete

    On Biohacker Report (Thinking while Supine):

    Fascinating. This could have some big implications for fMRI/cogNeuro research (since subjects are lying down in the fMRI).

    I have to admit though, I’m surprised that they solved problems better while supine (I would have better while standing).

  • NewArete

    On Posture and Neuroendocrinology (somewhat related to Biohacker Report):

    Check out this paper:

    Brief Nonverbal Displays Affect Neuroendocrine Levels and Risk Tolerance

    They found that posture (specifically, dominant “power poses”) were correlated with increased testosterone and lower cortisol.

    It seems that your posture and movement (or rather, how you _choose_ to embody yourself) has effects on your neuroendocrinology, which should have downstream effects on behavior.

    Want to kick more ass? Stand tall.

  • Guest

    Enjoyed the podcast. I just ordered the book via your Amazon link.

    RE: Modafinil – I found it interesting that you’re taking 100mg. Do you know what a comparable dose is with Nuvigil? I just got a prescription for the 250mg, but my insurance doesn’t cover it, so it’s $550 for 30 pills.

    I’m definitely interested in the “lowest effective dose”!

    • leogodin217

      I just got the 150mg nuvigil pills. I find that 1/2 pill works pretty well for me. A full pill makes me jittery. I’ll keep experimenting to see where I get the most benefit for the least money. I would recommend you do the same. The lowest effective dose is probably different for everyone.

      Hopefully, you took advantage of the free month Nuvigil offers. If not, go to their website.

      • kev

        pff the offer is useless Leo ! For all the people outside USA , just don’t bother … they only ship in the USA .

  • leogodin217

    Are there any significant nutritional differences between sweet potatoes and yams? I love yams, but would switch if it made sense.

    • NewArete

      The short answer is: Yes, they’re nutritionally different
      1) They come from different plant families (sounds like you know this, but some people aren’t aware of the naming issue)
      2) They have similar macronutrient profile
      3) BUT, they have different micronutrient profile

      The detailed answer:
      (Full disclosure: I haven’t read Sweet Potato Power.)

      Basically, this is a problem of naming. In America and Canada, we sometimes mislabel sweet potatoes as “yams.” For example, on Thanksgiving here in America, my family ate a dish we called “candied yams;” however, these were not yams at all, but were in fact, sweet potatoes.

      While they are both starchy roots/tubers, yams (natives of Africa) are from a different plant family than sweet potatoes (natives of the Americas).

      Basically, while they have similar macronutrient profile (and therefore similar culinary use) they do differ in micronutrients.

      Macronutrients: Basically, they are both starchy vegetables. In the paleo world, some experts (such as Robb Wolf, Mat Lalonde, Paul Jaminet) would consider these both to be “safe starches.” As such, they can both be useful foods to consume post-workout to replenish glycogen stores.

      Micronutrients: Though they have a similar macronutrient profile, they do differ in micronutrients. For example, yams have more potassium. And importantly, sweet potatoes have more beta carotene. Moreover, purple-fleshed sweet potatoes also have anthocyanins — compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (See: Worlds Healthiest Foods, ; Wikipedia, ).

      My guess is that proper sweet potatoes are a slightly better starchy food option due to their additional micronutrients, anti-inflammatories, etc.

      • leogodin217

        Great information. Thanks. Looking at your link, I noticed yams have more carbs, but less sugar. If I were carb back-loading, I might want yams over sweet potatoes. But, for normal use, sweet potatoes would be better. At least I think so

        • NewArete

          Yeah, great point!

          I think it really depends on what your goals are.

          Considering your post (which also reminds me that I need to revisit the Carb Back Loading podcast), each one might be good for different purposes.

  • AndrewinNH

    Where can I find Alexis’s surviving the zombie apocalypse speech? Sounds awesome!

  • Woody Hill


    I really appreciate your blog and podcast, thank you! I have a question about keto adaption and energy levels.

    I read ‘The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living’ by Dr. Stephen Phinney and Dr. Jeff Volek and they say it takes at least 2 weeks to become keto adapted. They also say a modest amount of carbs will screw up the adaption and you basically start the 2 weeks over again after some carbs.

    What do you think about this b/c you describe going in and out of ketosis often on your podcasts and that you don’t want to be in ketosis all the time?

    The reason I ask is b/c I’ve been dealing with fatigue, headaches and brain fog with my very low carb diet.

    I appreciate your thoughts and help!

  • Elle

    Hello, How much IU’s of serrapeptase should one take to get rid of internal scar tissue? Also can you recommend a brand; one that you know works? I would greatly appreciate it! Thank so much!

  • Abqandrea

    Whoa, whoa whoa! That $15K machine you are using for electrical muscle stimulation – can one use that for Multiple Sclerosis therapy?? When you said it also rebuilds myelin I just about jumped out of my seat. Please provide additional info on this device and applications…. thank you.

  • Pingback: » The Bulletproof Perspective on “Safe Starches” The Bulletproof Executive()

  • I just wrote a soliloquy comment, it appears it wasn’t posted or deleted? le sigh, guess I should write it in notepad first next time..

  • Winne

    It mentions in this podcast that you can eat as much fat (butter) as you like as long as you are not eating carbs with them. What is the downside of eating fat and carbs together? Where can I find more info on this? If I’m training and need to replenish carbs what is the best/healthiest way to do this e.g. should I consume all my carbs on their own and without fat immediately after training? How long do I need to wait thereafter before it’s OK to consume fats?

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  • Guest

    Damn she’s loud.

  • smartial_arts

    Dave, I am just wondering – despite all these marvellous characteristics of sweet potatoes you still list them on on “avoid” part of your scale here:

    What’s the reason?

  • Really enjoyed this one and listening to Ashley Tudor talk…

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